TTU Research and Creative Inquiry Day - Monday, April 8, 2019

The 14th annual TTU Research and Creative Inquiry Day will be held on Monday, April 8 (poster set-up and judging) and Tuesday, April 9 (general viewing and award ceremony) in the Hooper Eblen Center. We hope you will consider being a part of the event.

Research and Creative Inquiry Day is an annual event designed to promote student research and creative inquiry and provide a venue for presenting that work. This event is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all departments who want to display their research and creative projects. Research projects and literature-based reviews will follow the standard poster format while the English department has elected to utilize a paper presentation format. Multiple authors are allowed in either format; however, a primary author must be designated. A student may only serve as the primary author on one project.

All projects will be judged and awards will be given to graduate and undergraduate winners (including co-authors) selected from each participating department.  Primary authors will have the option of selecting to have their abstract and poster published in an online journal, “Proceeding of Student Research and Creative Inquiry Day.” This selection will occur on the abstract submission form.

In order to register for the event, a project abstract must be submitted via the abstract submission portal, which will open on Friday, February 1. This year’s abstract submission deadline is Wednesday, March 13, 2019. No abstracts will be accepted after this date. Abstract guidelines can be found on the Office of research website. It is expected that each submitted abstract will be developed into a poster to be presented at the April event. Note: English department abstracts will be developed into a paper. 

Chemistry Students Win Awards at Regional Conference

Six undergraduates attended the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) last week to present their research and participate in competitions against other universities in the region. Taylor Pinto, Jacob Scantland, Abigail Rossi and Lilly Pipkin participated in the College Chemistry Quiz Bowl and won first place. Ilysa Crouch and Meredith Borst won the Chemical Demonstration Exchange competition with a color changing secret message demonstration that teaches acid-base concepts. The Department of Chemistry would like to congratulate all of them.

Tech breaks ground for new lab science building

Phonsnasinh, Bailey (Published Monday, November 6, 2017)

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Biology department chair Rob Kissell, chemistry department chair Jeff Boles, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Semmes and President Phil Oldham celebrate the groundbreaking of the new lab science building.

Construction of a new lab sciences building at Tennessee Tech is officially underway and was celebrated at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday afternoon.

“It’s really once in a lifetime opportunity to create something like this,” said university President Phil Oldham. “I couldn’t be prouder of the faculty and staff that have participated in bringing a collection of ideas together in a way that is going to really benefit Tech students for generations to come.”

The $90 million, 160,000-square-feet facility will be the largest academic building at Tech and the its first LEED certified building, housing the chemistry department, a portion of the biology department and lab space for earth sciences, physics and environmental sciences.

The new building replaces Foster Hall and will be the anchor for a new academic quad located immediately north of the Capital Quad residence halls on the site of a current parking lot.

“The people involved in this project have been very dedicated,” said Department of Chemistry Chair Jeff Boles. “They have been, and in some cases continue to be, involved in everything from classroom and laboratory design to flooring and furniture selection.”

A team of more than 40 faculty members worked closely with architects Upland Design Group in Crossville and Bauer-Askew Architecture in Nashville on the building design. Together they have incorporated collaborative spaces unlike any that have ever existed at Tech as part of the building’s design, allowing faculty and students to interact and work together in an unprecedented way.

“President Oldham wanted us to be fearless,” Boles said. “He wanted to be forward-thinking. He wanted us to design something better, something bigger, something ready for tomorrow that not only fostered and supported growth in enrollment but professional growth in faculty, staff and students.”

Design features focus on collaborative space, active learning and “Science on Display,” which is the appropriate use of glass in a building so that people can see what goes on.

“This building can best be described in the experiences that it will make possible,” said Department of Biology Chair Rob Kissell. “Those experiences are going to be transformative experiences, they are going to be enhanced experiences and they are going to be collaborative experiences. The new building will be transformative on campus on many levels.”

Upland Design Group in Crossville and Bauer-Askew Architecture in Nashville previously worked on Bell Hall, home of the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing.

The Christman Company, which also built Ray Morris Hall, home of the Millard-Oakley STEM Center, is the contractor for the building project.

The project was funded by the State of Tennessee in the university’s 2016 budget appropriation.

Alumni Spotlight

John Turney, Class of 2007



John completed his B.S. in Chemistry from Tennessee Technological University and then earned an Executive MBA in Strategic Leadership and Internal Business from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

John joined Old World Industries in 2014 as the Technical Director responsible for the global development of key chemical and functional fluid technologies, as well as establishing global OEM relationships from a technical perspective. John has significant experience as a business leader in the chemicals industry and is focused on achieving sustainable global market growth through the development of advanced chemical technologies.

Old World Industries (OWI) began as a small chemical trading company. After 45 years, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar global powerhouse for the automotive, chemical, and agricultural industries. 

Old World Industries has been a leader in the development and distribution of high-quality automotive and heavy-duty products for more than four decades. For nearly the same amount of time, PEAK (one of their major product lines) has been actively involved in motorsports as a way to highlight the excellence and competitive quality of its family of brands. From partnerships with such racing icons as Dale Earnhardt and John Force to title sponsorships of international series, specifically, the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series, PEAK has successfully utilized motorsports to showcase PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid and Equipment.

Prior to joining Old World, John held leadership positions at Cummins Inc., where he directed the development and global commercialization of new heavy-duty coolant technologies.